WASHINGTON (AP) -- In a blunt rejoinder to congressional Republicans, President Barack Obama called for $1.5 trillion in new taxes Monday, part of a total 10-year deficit reduction package totaling more than $3 trillion. "We can't just cut our way out of this hole," the president said.
The president's proposal aims to reduce spending in mandatory benefit programs, including Medicare and Medicaid, by $580 billion and counts savings of $1 trillion over 10 years from the withdrawal of troops from Iraq and Afghanistan.
Obama's recommendation to a joint congressional committee served as a sharp counterpoint to Republican lawmakers, who have insisted that tax increases should play no part in taming the nation's escalating national debt. The new taxes would predominantly hit wealthy Americans, ending their Bush-era tax cuts and limiting their deductions.
"It's only right we ask everyone to pay their fair share," Obama said.
Responding to a complaint from Republicans about his proposed tax on the wealthy, Obama added: "This is not class warfare. It's math."